COVID-19 surge worsening, but still time ‘to get it under control,’ says head doctor at Henry Ford Health –

That coronavirus is surging in Michigan is readily evident to officials at Henry Ford Health System in metro Detroit, its chief medical officer said Wednesday.

More people are showing up at Henry Ford’s emergency departments with coronavirus symptoms, and 19% tested positive for coronavirus between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, Dr. Adnan Munkarah said during a press briefing.

In the same 24-hour period, 6.7% of the coronavirus tests processed by Henry Ford labs were positive for COVID-19, double the positivity rate of a month ago.

“We’re seeing a similar trend among our outpatient visits,” Munkarah said. “When we look at the percentage of asymptomatic outpatients testing positive, we’ve gone up to 10% from 3% a couple weeks ago, a three-fold increase.”

And among the system’s five primary-care hospitals, there are now 150 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, he said.

“So are seeing an increase in the number of patients on both the inpatient and outpatient side,” he said. “The numbers are definitely higher than we have seen” since the spring outbreak.

The good news: “The numbers that we are seeing on our inpatient side is nothing compared to what we have seen in April and May,” Munkarah said. “And this tells me that we are at a point where we are still able to get this under control.”

That requires Michigan residents to fully embrace prevention strategies, including masking, social distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding indoor gatherings.

“All of these have been very effective in preventing the spread of the virus,” he said.

Also good news, he said, is the number of flu cases has been low so far this year — perhaps because the same strategies that prevent spread of coronavirus also prevent spread of influenza.

Munkarah said he and other health-care officials do not want a repeat of last spring, when metro Detroit hospitals were overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

“We really do not want to be in that situation again,” he said.

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